Mocha in the Family Latte: Race on American screens
"He should not be here, " said the fish in the pot. " he should not be here when your mother is not." - The Cat In the Hat Dr Seuss (1957) It is a conundrum worthy of the massive geek brain of The Big Bang Theory's theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper: Why, apart from the occasional background character or extra, are there no black people in one of America's biggest and best sitcoms? The question comes up very quickly if you start typing "Why" and "The Big Bang Theory" into Google. True there's the Indian guy, Raj, who might be gay. Occasionally he makes jokes about his brownness and having sex with white women -- " Why not put a little mocha in the family latte?" But the omission of a main African American man from the bonhomie is increasingly eerie. Historian Timothy Stanley in his recent BBC2 documentary Family Guys – What Sitcoms Say About America Now found a racially polarized American TV culture – very different to the more integrated viewing of the 70s and 80s.One in which it